When people talk about working in the construction industry they tend to think of it as manual labour. It conjures up images of builders laying bricks, of plasterers and tilers. Perhaps it makes you think of plumbers or electricians. Very seldom though does it get the mind springing to thoughts outside of the trades. The truth, however, is that the construction industry is filled with highly qualified professionals – in many instances people who have studied at tertiary level. These are however not career’s many people are aware of or which get considered very often. So, if you are looking for something unique and challenging, here are a few construction industry careers that you might want to consider.
Be the glue
Any construction job is an involved and complicated process. There are builders, and deliveries, site inspections, and plans. It all needs to work smoothly to be as cost-effective and timely as possible. But it takes a considerable amount of planning and coordination to get it all right. And this is where a project manager comes into the equation. The project manager is the glue that holds the whole job together. In short, it is their job to ensure that the scope of work is completed on time, on budget and according to specification. It is a tough job as it involves an array of constantly moving parts. It is, however, a role that can be studied for with a diploma project management course the sort of qualification that is on offer at many tertiary institutions.
Make the plans
All buildings need to have plans – you cannot simply expect a builder to know what to do from a verbal description. Plans are kept on record at the council and they are the blueprints to which the owners and the builders agree. Without plans, you cannot be quite sure what you are going to get. Plans can be provided by architects or draughtsmen – the former is a higher qualification than the latter, but both are important parts of the construction process.
Work the numbers
The QS or quantity surveyor is an unsung member of the behind the scenes team. It is the role of the quantity surveyor to estimate the amounts of materials that are going to be needed to complete the job. Often these estimates are done on a stage-by-stage basis. In other words, if you are building a big office block, the builder will want to order bricks in bulk to get the best price. But he might not want to get them all delivered at the same time due to space constraints. It is the job of the QS to work out what is needed and when it is needed. It is absolutely vital that materials don’t run out, but similarly, it cannot end with a situation where there are too many bricks or other materials left over once the job is done. It is tricky business and it requires serious ability with numbers and logistic – and a nice fat degree from a tertiary institution.